Ceapa C, Wopereis H, Rezaïki L, Kleerebezem M, Knol J, Oozeer R. - - Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2013 Feb;27(1):139-55

Influence of fermented milk products, prebiotics and probiotics on microbiota composition and health

The gut microbiota is a highly diverse and relative stabile ecosystem increasingly recognized for its impact on human health. The homeostasis of microbes and the host is also referred to as eubiosis. In contrast, deviation from the normal composition, defined as dysbiosis, is often associated with localized diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease or colonic cancer, but also with systemic diseases like metabolic syndrome and allergic diseases. Modulating a gut microbiota dysbiosis with nutritional concepts may contribute to improving health status, reducing diseases or disease symptoms or supporting already established treatments. The gut microbiota can be modulated by different nutritional concepts, varying from specific food ingredients to complex diets or by the ingestion of particular live microorganisms. To underpin the importance of bacteria in the gut, we describe molecular mechanisms involved in the crosstalk between gut bacteria and the human host, and review the impact of different nutritional concepts such as pre-, pro- and synbiotics on the gastrointestinal ecosystem and their potential health benefits. The aim of this review is to provide examples of potential nutritional concepts that target the gut microbiota to support human physiology and potentially health outcomes.